Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Chappie's Parts Don't Quite Fit Together

Plus, Unfinished Business misfires, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a pleasant trifle, and American Crime is Certified Fresh.

by | March 5, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a conflicted robot (Chappie, starring Sharlto Copley and Dev Patel), traveling businessmen (Unfinished Busines, starring Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco), and spry seniors (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith). What do the critics have to say?



With District 9 and Elysium, director Neill Blomkamp established himself as a purveyor of action-packed sci-fi allegories. But critics say Chappie is a much less successful mix of pulp thrills and deep thoughts; its ideas take a backseat to its overstuffed, occasionally illogical plot. It’s 2016, and Johannesburg is policed by fearsome robots called scouts. Deon (Dev Patel), an artificial intelligence expert gets his hands on a dilapidated scout and tries to give the machine a conscience, but others want to use the bot — now christened Chappie (Sharlto Copley) — as a weapon of rebellion. The pundits say Chappie is ambitious and visually striking, but its message is a little too heavy-handed and its characters aren’t developed enough. (Click through our gallery of the most dangerous robots from movies and TV shows, and watch our video interviews with Copley and co-stars Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver.)

Unfinished Business


Take a ragtag trio, send them to an unfamiliar land, and what have you got? Unfinished Busines, which critics say is a startlingly unfunny and undisciplined comedy that strands its sharp cast in a lackadaisical narrative. Vaughn stars as a small business owner who treks to Berlin with his two underlings (Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson) to close an important deal. But our heroes get sidetracked by a variety of distractions, and hilarity (allegedly) ensues. The pundits say Unfinished Business attempts to combine gross-out gags and farcical scenarios with heartfelt sentiment, and comes up empty on nearly all counts. (Check out Dave Franco’s Five Favorite Films here.)

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


Like The Avengers for the senior set, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel featured a murderer’s row of super-powered British acting talent. Most of the gang is back for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and critics say that’s the main reason to recommend this predictable trifle — though its gorgeous setting is a close second. This time out, hotel managers Muriel (Maggie Smith) and Kapoor (Dev Patel) are looking to expand the business, while an American novelist (Richard Gere) takes up residence and various other occupants fall in and out of love. The pundits say The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is cinematic comfort food — less substantial than its predecessor, but warm and appetizing nonetheless. (Watch our video interview with Dench here, and check out our countdown of her best-reviewed movies here.)

What’s On TV:

Critics say that raw, emotional portrayals of diverse characters in dire pain mashed up with chilling narratives and a gutsy attitude make American Crime (Certified Fresh at 100 percent) a must-see.

The pundits say season two of Broadchurch (87 percent) builds on its predecessor’s intrigue, with the added bonus of new characters who mesh well with the existing cast.

While stocked with impressive talent, CSI: Cyber (39 percent) fails to add anything truly new to the franchise, settling for a slightly modernized twist on the same typical crimefighting scenarios.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Buzzard, a dark comedy about a slacker who perpetrates a series of low-level cons, is at 95 percent.
  • An Honest Liar, a documentary portrait of magician and skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi, is at 91 percent.
  • Faults, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Leland Orser in a thriller about a troubled man who attempts to deprogram a cult member, is at 87 percent.
  • The Aussie import These Final Hours, a dramedy about a wild party on the eve of the apocalypse, is at 84 percent.
  • Deli Man, a documentary about an innovative delicatessen in Houston, is at 80 percent.
  • Merchants Of Doubt, a documentary about corporate-funded pundits who inject themselves into public debates as dispassionate experts, is at 79 percent.
  • Two Men In Town, starring Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel in a drama about an ex-con who’s hounded by a small-town sheriff, is at 56 percent.
  • Road Hard, starring Adam Carolla as a stand-up comedian attempting to jumpstart both his career and his personal life, is at 33 percent.
  • October Gale, starring Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman in a thriller about a grieving woman and a man with a gunshot wound under siege in a remote cabin, is at 27 percent.
  • Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jim Sturgess in a drama based on the true story of the brazen kidnapping of a brewery heir, is at 21 percent.
  • Rufus, a drama about a lonely teenage vampire looking for love, is at 17 percent.

Tag Cloud

President Holidays hist criterion live action dreamworks IMDb TV dogs boxoffice Quiz true crime TV Land japan CBS concert Podcast Rocky Comic Book facebook Year in Review singing competition Indigenous werewolf Emmys interviews crime drama rt labs critics edition Polls and Games sports YouTube Premium festival films Mary Tyler Moore monster movies christmas movies 45 franchise dragons marvel comics new zealand period drama Acorn TV SXSW Alien vampires japanese Marvel Television TIFF Best and Worst spain jurassic park Fantasy razzies book OneApp The Academy Classic Film cancelled TV shows kaiju binge ABC Signature discovery halloween tv social media Video Games hispanic 2020 Captain marvel elevated horror women Trivia rotten Pixar TV movies Pacific Islander Binge Guide Musical Tarantino series news Opinion renewed TV shows Tokyo Olympics San Diego Comic-Con casting disaster Mary poppins sequels twilight The Purge NBA Rom-Com royal family batman game show streaming HBO VH1 Walt Disney Pictures Universal 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards scary Image Comics PaleyFest theme song lord of the rings Amazon The CW Family Amazon Studios Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tumblr green book streaming movies First Look Grammys south america 2021 book adaptation foreign biopic die hard Paramount Pictures free movies South by Southwest Film Festival SXSW 2022 Winners Chernobyl live event comics reboot Superheroes GIFs war Ovation Showtime mutant Tubi superhero Hear Us Out fast and furious Television Critics Association HBO Max canceled Food Network Disney Watching Series WGN documentaries Drama Columbia Pictures Superheroe Western Photos SundanceTV toronto Hulu Paramount Network FX 99% Film CMT FXX what to watch Martial Arts dceu broadcast king arthur technology breaking bad Britbox king kong Logo Fargo Pride Month television independent 94th Oscars Marathons spinoff spider-man Action halloween History OWN Black Mirror Cannes science fiction A&E Marvel emmy awards Nat Geo legend worst 21st Century Fox Chilling Adventures of Sabrina crime thriller TV One IFC Films romantic comedy BBC America Avengers documentary Biopics TCA crime summer preview First Reviews Ellie Kemper BBC TLC mockumentary Fall TV Netflix Christmas movies Brie Larson CNN 90s LGBTQ Rock Broadway robots a nightmare on elm street james bond critics Song of Ice and Fire TCA Winter 2020 Syfy quibi trailers Star Wars Celebration sitcom video hidden camera Lucasfilm richard e. Grant YouTube Red kong supernatural canceled TV shows Universal Pictures Paramount Plus El Rey blockbusters Mudbound blockbuster spider-verse The Walking Dead Lifetime Christmas movies DC Universe Television Academy indie AMC TCA Awards archives new york docudrama doctor who Apple TV Plus reviews The Arrangement Freeform YouTube Musicals golden globe awards zombies cancelled black Kids & Family Comics on TV mob Schedule kids diversity scene in color film series Adult Swim Election Box Office rt labs Apple TV renewals ViacomCBS jamie lee curtis TV 24 frames WarnerMedia space Sundance psychological thriller comic book movies blaxploitation Star Wars dramedy Nickelodeon dark 2019 award winner Cosplay Lionsgate docuseries talk show 007 boxing MCU Teen aliens Calendar Christmas See It Skip It comic books HBO Go anthology superman Funimation Emmy Nominations zero dark thirty Instagram Live Interview ID Elton John FOX slashers slasher teaser Reality Competition cartoon Geeked Week target 71st Emmy Awards telelvision worst movies dexter Disney streaming service Set visit Trailer streamig summer TV preview Pop TV 79th Golden Globes Awards Certified Fresh hollywood Pet Sematary Trophy Talk unscripted Academy Awards comiccon spanish screen actors guild tv talk The Witch APB new star wars movies Best Actor Best Picture Legendary Dark Horse Comics National Geographic video on demand Women's History Month witnail Mary Poppins Returns natural history finale 73rd Emmy Awards Cartoon Network Summer anime popular DC Comics godzilla comic Arrowverse fresh Epix based on movie Starz Stephen King Best Actress political drama game of thrones Winter TV obi wan GLAAD Discovery Channel Rocketman mcc scene in color biography RT21 MSNBC NYCC serial killer Music Character Guide Comic-Con@Home 2021 rom-coms Spring TV Lifetime romance VICE Comedy Ghostbusters remakes Neflix Turner suspense universal monsters stop motion Holiday Hollywood Foreign Press Association Amazon Prime Video composers revenge Fox News action-comedy Hallmark indiana jones BET Awards Countdown latino toy story Spectrum Originals cops Focus Features 1990s DGA ITV Prime Video Amazon Prime all-time zombie Red Carpet Bravo Marvel Studios CBS All Access Best Director 2018 golden globes Shondaland Wes Anderson saw transformers harry potter Crunchyroll psycho debate cooking asian-american Infographic Awards A24 cars Native Sundance TV dc TruTV E3 SDCC Film Festival prank American Society of Cinematographers heist movie Crackle trophy adenture medical drama australia hispanic heritage month screenings YA Sony 2016 historical drama joker stand-up comedy pirates of the caribbean Exclusive Video rotten movies we love obituary deadpool Warner Bros. The Walt Disney Company Disney+ Disney Plus MGM PBS Horror 4/20 BAFTA USA Pirates basketball E! Mindy Kaling satire Nominations gangster TCM TCA 2017 cancelled TV series miniseries DC streaming service Premiere Dates thriller Sundance Now TBS chucky critic resources summer TV target scene in color leaderboard Apple TV+ Super Bowl Pop PlayStation olympics Baby Yoda sopranos FX on Hulu Sony Pictures X-Men sequel feel good rt archives italian Awards Tour Paramount Fox Searchlight Country Valentine's Day 72 Emmy Awards sag awards 20th Century Fox Oscar art house mission: impossible police drama Creative Arts Emmys HFPA international Toys USA Network Writers Guild of America AMC Plus stoner child's play best nfl Oscars justice league aapi Hallmark Christmas movies ghosts Endgame Reality marvel cinematic universe Tomatazos 2015 wonder woman cancelled television NBC Comedy Central spy thriller Esquire Peacock scary movies Thanksgiving MTV french VOD movie New York Comic Con adventure strong female leads LGBT Heroines politics spanish language IFC ABC Family laika versus RT History TNT festivals adaptation children's TV name the review young adult BET directors Sneak Peek Shudder cinemax nature posters ABC GoT Mystery crossover venice Travel Channel Disney Channel black comedy Tags: Comedy ratings Turner Classic Movies genre nbcuniversal cats BBC One comedies 93rd Oscars Star Trek Anna Paquin Animation movies parents travel football 2017 Netflix cults CW Seed Disney Plus ESPN Vudu classics Masterpiece DirecTV Black History Month Sci-Fi vs. animated high school scene in color series scorecard comic book movie Extras know your critic Spike